Shupe, DuPont and Kenny roll out website designed to combat a ‘national takeover of Delaware news’

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A state legislator and publisher has joined with DuPont Country Club co-owner Ben duPont and grocery store executive Chris Kenny to form a statewide news website with an electronic Sunday newspaper.

DelawareLive was launched today. Its co-founder and CEO is Bryan Shupe of Milford.

A decade ago, Shupe co-founded MilfordLive, the state’s first hyperlocal news website. A key feature of MilfordLive is its Tuesday electronic file – a downloaded PDF file that resembles a weekly newspaper.

A release stated that the site was launched “in an effort to combat the national takeover of Delaware news,”

“The freedom of independent, locally-owned news outlets is critical for our communities to thrive in The First State,” said Delaware LIVE Chief Executive Officer Bryan Shupe. “When our residents are informed, they can become engaged and have a voice in their community.” In 2010, Shupe began Milford LIVE media, a company which has received praise for its ability to engage locals. Milford LIVE will continue to serve the Greater Milford Area under Delaware LIVE as the company plans to launch four additional Local LIVE community sites within the first 18 months.

In a release, Kenny chairman of the board and founder of DelawareLive, stated that a key feature of the business is its commitment to full access for all readers. No paywalls will be found across Delaware Live’s online and mobile mediums.

“All of our mediums are free to the public because information empowers individuals, families and communities to make a difference in their future,” said Kenny. “What good is providing critical information to the public if only few can afford to access it.”

According to the release,DelawareLIVE.com, readers can sign up for the free weekly digital newspaper that is delivered to their inbox every Sunday morning.

The electronic file will feature statewide content about local culture, businesses, schools, government, health and sports, Delaware Live.

Ben duPont stated that the company’s focus on innovative concepts will bring balance to what has become a “predictable new cycle.”

“National news in Delaware has continued to focus on divisiveness across our state and magnified the storyline of a polarized public,” said duPont. “The real story of Delaware is our families, businesses and communities and Delaware Live’s focus on these voices that will bring a much-needed balance to public discussion.”

The site comes after the merger of newspaper giants Gannett and Gatehouse. The combined entity owns most of the daily and weekly newspapers in Delaware. Gannett’s DelawareOnline.com site operates with a “hard paywall” on many stories.

During his ownership of MilfordLive, Shupe served as mayor of Milford. He went on to successfully run for a seat in the Delaware House as a Republican.

Shupe has not used MilofrdLive as a springboard for his political ambitions. The site and facsimile newspaper does not have an opinion page.

Earlier, Kenny and Ben duPont formed “A Better Delaware,” a public policy group that has been critical of the Delaware business climate and a state government where Democrats hold a majority in both houses and all statewide elected offices.

A Better Delaware shares some of the views of the long-running Newark-based Ceasar Rodney Institute, but has stayed away many of CRI’s positions on climate change.

For duPont, DelawareLive marks a return of sorts to the family’s ownership of media holdings. The family’s investment entity owned the News Journal for decades and sold the property to Gannett decades ago.

Readers can contact company leadership directly online at DelawareLIVE.com, on Facebook @delawareLIVEnews or by email at news@delawarelive.com.

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